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Horatio Townsend [104]Extracts from Samuel Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary 1837
AUGHADOWN, or AGHADOWN, a parish, in the East Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 3 1/4 miles (W. S. W.) from Skibbereen; containing, with several inhabited islands, 5419 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the north bank of the river Ilen, and comprises 7063 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, and valued at £5400 per annum. Its surface is very uneven; in some parts, especially towards the north, it is rocky and unproductive; but near its southern boundary, towards the Hen, the land is good and produces excellent crops. About two-thirds of it are under cultivation; the remainder is rocky ground and bog, of which latter there is a considerable extent near Newcourt. The state of agriculture is not much improved; the old heavy wooden plough is still used, and some of the land is cultivated by spade labour; the fences are everywhere much neglected. Several good roads intersect the parish, one of which is a new line from Skibbereen to Crookhaven, likely to be of considerable advantage. The Ilen is navigable for vessels of 200 tons' burden nearly to its eastern extremity: a quay and storehouses have been constructed at Newcourt, but are entirely neglected, and the harbour is only frequented by a few sand boats, which discharge their cargoes there for the convenience of the farmers. The principal seats are Aughadown House, that of H. Becher*, Esq., occupying an elevated site in the midst of flourishing plantations, and commanding a fine view of the western coast; Lake Marsh, of Hugh Lawton, Esq.; Whitehall, of S. Townsend (Samuel Townsend [405]) Esq.; Newcourt, of Becher Fleming**, Esq.; the glebe-house, the residence of the Rev. T. D. Moore; and Holly Hill, of the Rev. J. Copinger, P.P. . Fairs for the sale of cattle, sheep, pigs, &c., are held on May 6th and Oct. 2nd. A manor court is held monthly by a seneschal appointed by Lord Carbery, for the recovery of debts under 40s; and here is a constabulary police station. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Ross, and in the patronage of the Bishop; the rectory is partly impropriate in Lord Audley and partly forms the corps of the archdeaconry of Ross. The tithes amount to £600, of which £300 is payable to the impropriator and appropriator, and £300 to the vicar. The church, situated on the margin of the river, is a small neat edifice with a square tower, and was built by aid of a loan of £500, in 1812, from the late Board of First Fruits. The glebe-house is handsome and commodious, and is situated on a glebe of 45 1/2 acres. In addition to
the parochial schools, there are schools at Whitehall and near Newcourt, also a pay school. In the demesne of Whitehall are the ruins of Rincolisky castle, built by the O'Driscols in 1495; and on the grounds of Lake View are some picturesque remains of an ecclesiastical edifice, called by the people of the neighbourhood the Abbey of Our Lady.
* Becher connections with Horatio Townsend [104] and Richard Townsend [201].
** Fleming connections with John Sealy Townsend [333], Eliza Townsend [5D05] and Horatio Townsend [6B05].
SKIBBEREEN, a market and post-town, partly in the parish of ABBEYSTROWRY, but chiefly in that of CREAGH, Eastern Division of the barony of WEST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 42 miles (S. W.) from Cork, on the mail road to Bantry, and 167 1/4 (S. W.) from Dublin; containing 4429 inhabitants. In 1691, an engagement took place in the vicinity between the forces of Jas. II and Col. Becher*, who commanded about 500 of the militia, when the former were put to flight, with the loss of 60 men and a large number of cattle. Three years afterwards, a party of 40 rapparees came into the town and plundered the custom-house, which belonged to the port of Baltimore, and killed two revenue officers. The town, from its situation in a wild, unenclosed part of the country, has frequently been the rendezvous of disaffected parties, but it has been much improved of late years, and is now a very flourishing place. It is situated on the southern bank of the river Ilen, and comprises seven streets; that part which extends into the parish of Abbeystrewry is called Bridgetown, and consists of three streets, one of which has been recently formed. The number of houses in the whole town is 1014, many of which, in the eastern part and in the parish of Creagh**, are large and well built: the approaches have been much improved by the formation of new lines of road at each extremity. This place had formerly a very considerable trade, arising from the manufacture of woollen cloth, linen, checks, and handkerchiefs, which has altogether declined: it is, however, very advantageously situated for trade in an extensive and improving district; the tide from the harbour of Baltimore flows up to the town, and the river is navigable for vessels of 200 tons' burden to Oldcourt, two miles below Skibbereen. In the town are capacious storehouses for corn, and a considerable quantity of flour is also exported from the mills of Mr. .J. Clark, on the bank of the Ilen, a quarter of a mile from the town. A porter brewery upon an extensive scale was established in 1809; it is the property of Daniel Mc Carthy, Esq., and is in full operation, many of the neighbouring towns being supplied from the establishment. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday, the former for the Bridgetown portion, and the latter, which is the principal market, for Staplestown. Milk and fuel are also exposed daily in the market-place for sale. The supply of provisions is very abundant, particularly fish and poultry: pigs and sheep are also sold in great numbers. The marketplace being small, and the market-house old and inconvenient, the articles brought for sale on the regular market-days are exposed in the public streets and in a place called the square. Fairs are held on May 14th, July 10th, Aug. 2nd, Oct. 12th, and Dec. 11th and 23rd; and petty sessions on Wednesdays. The sessions-house and bridewell is a large and handsome building in the Grecian style, occupying an elevated site near the entrance to the town from Cork. There is also an infantry barrack; and Skibbereen is the residence of the inspecting commander of the coast-guard stations of the district, of which it is the head, comprising those of Milkcove, Glandore, Castle-Townsend, Barlogue, Baltimore, Long Island, Crookhaven, Dunmanus, and Whitehorse, and extending from Sheep Head to Rosscarbery. The parochial church of Abbeystrewry is situated in Bridgetown; it is a large edifice in the early English style, with a tower at the east end, erected in 1827, at an expense of £1200, towards which £900 was contributed by the late Board of First Fruits. Parochial schools for boys and girls were erected near the church, in 1825, by the vicar; and an infants' school was built in 1835. There is also a Sunday school under the care of the Protestant clergyman. Near the R. C. chapel are large school-houses, built by the late Dr. Collins, which are supported by the National Board. A dispensary is maintained in the customary manner. There are numerous large and handsome houses near the town, the principal of which are noticed in the description of Abbeystrewry.
* Col Becher was the father of Elizabeth who married Horatio Townsend [104]
** Becher connections with Mary Townsend [121] and Edward [401].

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